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Managing Stress

February 6, 2021


When talking about risk factors for heart disease, we often talk about the common ones, but the one that gets failed to be addressed or discussed, especially in the clinical setting, is stress. I often make sure that I discuss stress and stress levels with patients because I feel like it contributes a great deal to my patient’s overall health that they modify stress. Now, stress is not always removable. I tell them, look, I have stress, but I can’t quit my job because I have a family. So I tell them, we have to find ways to deal with that stress. For some, you know, they resort to bad habits. Some patients say, well, I’m really stressed. That’s why I smoke. Well, hurting yourself double is not going to benefit you. So I often try to talk to them about healthier ways to manage stress, spending more time for themselves. Walking, that’s a great way to avoid stress. Instead of going outside to smoke a cigarette, take a 30 minute walk. We can all afford to have 30 minutes for ourselves to be able to walk. And I tell patients don’t plan things, schedule things. When you schedule walks as part of your own life, you’re much more likely to be able to do that walk than if you plan them. Because other things will come up, unless you set time aside in your calendar for those walks. Other measures include yoga, meditation, other types of exercises, such as core body exercises are all important. And some people may need a counselor to help them deal with stress and anxiety in a way that’s beneficial to them.

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